O'Sullivan beats Ding to take 8th UK Snooker Championship crown
British world No. 1 snooker Ronnie O'Sullivan claimed his eighth UK Championship title in York on Sunday, beating China's Ding Junhui 10-7 in the final.
O'Sullivan, who had become the youngest-ever UK champion in 1993 at the age of 17, became the oldest one in 2023, just two days shy of his 48th birthday.
The Englishman has extended his lead on the list of most UK Championship victories, followed by Steve Davis (6), Stephen Hendry (5), Ding (3), John Higgins (3) and Neil Robertson (3).
O'Sullivan scooped the 250,000 pounds top prize and consolidated his position as world No. 1. Ding received 100,000 pounds for finishing runner-up and secured his place in the top 16 of the world rankings and qualification for the Masters, where he will face O'Sullivan in the first round.
The final's afternoon session saw Ding fight back from 4-1 down to level at 4-4.
In the evening session, O'Sullivan fired in a superb 84 break to regain the lead at 5-4, only for Ding to restore parity in the tenth frame. Then, O'Sullivan took charge with contributions of 87 and 79 to establish a 7-5 lead at the mid-session interval.
Ding summoned a charge to get himself back into contention. Runs of 52 and 104 helped him take two frames on the bounce and once again square the match at 7-7.
Then O'Sullivan found a way to push himself toward victory. Breaks of 100 and 74 moved him within one frame at 9-7. He sent a raucous crowd into raptures in the 17th frame with a spellbinding 127 break.
"I love competing, and I love that I went out there tonight and I used my head. I just wanted to go out there today and try hard to be professional and honest," said a delighted O'Sullivan.
"It was an honor to play Ding. He's such a classy player and such a classy guy. To share the table with him in that venue and in that final was an honor. I know there will have been so many people in China watching that final supporting Ding and supporting me as well. We've put on a good show," he added.
Ding said after the final, "It was a very good week. I knew it was going to be very tough tonight. I missed a couple of shots to win frames in the first session. I tried to get more points and fight to win a frame then get another and see what happens. To be 4-4 was not too bad but he played better tonight."